Marie Curie

Biography of Marie Curie

Marie Curie Biography

Maria Salomea Skłodowska-Curie, also known as Marie Curie, was a scientist. She was born on November 7, 1867, in Warsaw, Poland. Marie Curie went down in history to have discovered with her husband Pierre Curie, radioactivity. She opened the doors to the fight against various cruel diseases.

Maria Salomea Skłodowska, later known as Marie Curie, by accepting the surname of her husband Pierre Curie, was the fifth daughter of the professor of physics and mathematics, Władysław Skłodowski, and the teacher Bronisława Boguska. Marie was a great student who was attracted to physics and mathematics. In his youth, Marie wanted to specialize in Physical Sciences, but at that time, Poland was submitted by Czarist Russia, and women were not allowed to have a higher education. Marie decided that she had to leave her native country to study Physical Sciences.

In 1890, her sister Bronisława got married and months later she invited Marie to go and live with them in Paris, but she refused because she did not have enough money to pay for her university tuition. Marie received financial help from his father and continued working until she had saved enough money to travel.

At the end of 1891, Curie traveled to France. The first thing she did was to enroll in the Soborna. Also, to be able to integrate into society she changed her name, from there she would be called Marie. At that time Marie was 24 years old and her only goal was to start her university studies. Marie Curie lived for a while with her sister and brother-in-law, until she managed to rent a room in the Latin Quarter of Paris. For Marie, the only important thing was her university career. Their economic insufficiency, anemia, hunger and cold were not obstacles to carry it out. Marie got her degree in Physics in 1893, and one year later in mathematics.

In 1894, Marie would meet Pierre Curie, a French scientist, who worked as a teacher in the Soborna. In that year, they worked together in the faculty laboratory. The passion that both had for sciences, little by little was becoming something more intimate. Marie and Pierre got married in 1895. Their honeymoon was traveled all over France on their bicycles.

Upon returning home, the marriage focused on their scientific tasks. They turned their house into a somewhat improvised laboratory, and in it, they invested all their free time in advancing their investigations.

In 1897, Irène, their first daughter was born. Obligations as mother and wife did not affect their investigations. In that same year, Marie finished her university studies and was awarded a scholarship. She published her first scientific work, a monograph on the magnetization of tempered steel. Marie was looking for an interesting topic for her doctoral thesis. She came across the discovery that Antoine Henri Becquerel had made in February 1896: Natural Radioactivity. Marie was fascinated, and from there, the Curies began to investigate the phenomenon and to formulate the bases that could clarify this discovery.

Marie managed to pass her interest in radioactivity to her husband Pierre. The Curie couple began their investigations and discovered that not only the uranium emitted the rays discovered by Becquerel. They also noticed that Uraninite, a mineral that is extracted from uranium, was much more radioactive than this one.

They had to find the other radioactive elements contained in the Uraninite and understand the reason for their radiation. Their work was based on processing and separating those elements. The Curie couple worked in good harmony, Pierre was devoted to observing the properties of radiations and Marie to purify the elements that produced them.

The Curies are, to a large extent, responsible for the transformation of modern scientific research. They showed that the radiation was not produced as a result of a chemical reaction, but was part of a property of the same element, of its atom. They gave way to the development of the study of nuclear energy, the key to the events of the twentieth century.

In 1898, they would discover the radon gas and the radioactivity of Thorium. The Curies would announce in July their discovery of a new element also radioactive, which Marie named Polonio in honor of his homeland. At the end of that year, the Curies presented another new chemical element, the Radio, from which they affirmed that this element emitted a reaction that was much greater than the Uranium. These discoveries gave the Curies worldwide recognition. The couple refused to patent their discovery so that science could go deeper into it.

In 1903, she won the Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband Pierre and Antoine Henri Becquerel. In 1904, her second daughter, Eve, was born. By that time Marie Curie was exhausted physically.

In 1906 her husband would pass away. Four years after the death of her husband, Marie Curie obtained a chair of physics, which her husband left in the bribe, thus becoming the first woman to teach at the famous university. A few years before, the Soborna and the Pasteur Institute in Paris had created the Radio Institute, whose goal was to investigate more on this subject and the medical applications of radioactivity and Marie Curie was the director of that institution. In 1911, Marie Curie receives her second Nobel Prize but this time in Chemistry. Before her, no one had ever won two Nobel prizes.

Marie Curie died of leukemia at age 67, on July 4, 1934, in Paris.

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